Cruise ship Pride of America cancels Big Island visits

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Pride of America cruise ship in port in 2015 in Hilo.

HILO ­— The cruise ship MS Pride of America will not make any stops on the Big Island this week due to “adverse conditions” on the island.

The Pride of America, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, makes regular trips around the state of Hawaii. With the Big Island port calls cancelled, the ship will instead make an additional stop in Lahaina, Maui.

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Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, said the Pride of America was scheduled to stop twice on the Big Island this week, once in Hilo and once in Kona.

Norwegian Cruise Line also cancelled one of the ship’s Big Island visits last week. Cruise line Royal Caribbean International also cancelled one Big Island visit by the MS Radiance of the Sea last week.

Norwegian Cruise Line cancelled the visits after “closely monitoring the adverse conditions impacting the Big Island of Hawaii,” according to a statement.

“It’s hard to say exactly why they’re avoiding us,” Birch said Monday. “It’s not an air-quality issue, and there’s no direct lava threat.”

The cancellation comes amidst an already struggling tourism industry on the Big Island, with the continuing Kilauea eruption causing widespread cancellations from would-be visitors, despite the fact that a vast majority of the island is safe to visit.

“It’s starting to hit us hard,” Birch said, adding that some hoteliers and activities organizers have had to shut down their businesses.

Birch said summer reservations are already nearly 50 percent less than bookings in previous years. While those bookings are considered separately from cruise ship traffic, Birch pointed out that if each of the 2,500 possible passengers on the Pride of America spent $70 at each port, the cost of the cancellation could be enormous — nearly half a million dollars this week alone.

Birch said Norwegian Cruise Line gave no indication whether the cancellation will continue after this week.

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The Pride of America is by far the most frequent cruise ship to visit either port on the Big Island. There are currently 20 visits by cruise ships to Hilo scheduled between May 18 and the end of August; 15 of those visits will be by the Pride of America.

Representatives of the cruise line could not be reached for comment.

  1. Buds4All May 15, 2018 6:48 am

    At least go to Kona….going to hurt the economy! Senseless!


  2. KonaHome May 15, 2018 10:17 am

    The media news always exaggerate the fact to scare the tourist away. This will really hurt Big Island’s economy. Our local government should do some damage control!


  3. Du Mhan Yhu May 15, 2018 10:29 am

    I suspect mainland tourist panic, not a cruise line idea. I hear the mainland fake news is pumping hysteria that makes it sound like endless earthquakes, lava engulfing the island, poisonous vog, …….the end of the world.


      1. Du Mhan Yhu May 15, 2018 7:20 pm

        Ah, the poofter, stalking me once again.


        1. Hilo Jack May 15, 2018 7:22 pm

          Showing your lack of intellect again I see.

          Can’t debate the facts, so call me a derogatory name!


          1. Du Mhan Yhu May 15, 2018 7:35 pm

            Poofter is derogatory? What happened to all the “hom-sexual pride” stuff?


          2. Hilo Jack May 15, 2018 7:42 pm

            Stalking me again?

            Lack of intellect, lack of education, being bigoted, racist and homophobic are traits once should be ashamed of, not proudly broadcast as you are very adept at proving with each post.


  4. Edgar Neel May 15, 2018 12:42 pm

    We are coming next week…can’t wait!


  5. metalman808 May 15, 2018 12:48 pm

    The mayor seems to keep using Okabe to make speeches. Maybe the mayor should be on the news more often explaining what’s really going on. Mayor Kim your the mayor, not Okabe. Oh yeah your in a meeting again.


  6. HeckSpawn May 15, 2018 1:44 pm

    One would think that the eruption would be drawing MORE visitors than less.


  7. Aku May 15, 2018 3:12 pm

    “It’s hard to say exactly why they’re avoiding us,” LOL https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d31c0f99e346df597c6675184a9ae9df7068e965e131b39797f9df1de3dd613.png


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